Lesson 06: Negating Verbs



In the previous lesson, we learned how to conjugate verbs into the present affirmative form. In this lesson, we will focus on conjugating verbs into the present negative form! We will look at each type of verb.


In This Lesson


–  る verbs

–  う verbs

–  Irregular verbs

–  Common Particles

–  Homework and Answer Key


る Verbs


In order to make る verbs into the present negative form, you will need to remove the る and add ません. ません tells you that the verb is being negated whereas ます tells you that a verb is actually happening.


First, let’s take one of the examples from the previous lesson. みる is the dictionary form of the verb “to see/watch.” If we want this in present affirmative, we would end up with みます. If we want to say we are not watching something or didn’t see something, we would need to drop the る and add ません, so our ending result would be みません.


Example: テレビ をみません。= I am not watching TV. (This can also mean “I don’t watch TV.”)


う Verbs


う verbs will conjugate a little differently, depending on what they end in. For example, かく (“to write”) is かきます in present tense affirmative. In present tense negative form, it is かきません. The ます changes to ません, and the く changes to き just like in the present tense affirmative form.


Other う verbs, such as かう (meaning “to buy”), will conjugate a bit differently since it ends in う. The present tense affirmative form is かいます while the present tense negative form is かいません. Since かう ends in う, you drop the う before adding います or いません. For う verbs, you should learn them as a set as you come to them (meaning learn the dictionary form, the present affirmative form, and the present negative form).


Example: わたしはたべものをかいません。 = I am not buying food/I am not going to buy food.


Irregular Verbs


The irregular verbs consist of くる and all verbs that use する. You will recall from the previous lesson that the present affirmative forms of these two verbs are きます and します respectively. These you must memorize since they follow no pattern. The present negative form of くる is きません and the present negative of する is しません. This also works for verbs like べんきょうする, which would be べんきょうしませんin present negative form.


Example: わたしはべんきょうしません。= I am not studying/I will not study.


Common Particles


You have already been introduced to the particles of は and を. We use は to mark the subject of the sentence and we use を to make the object of the sentence.


There are a couple of other particles which are very useful for creating Japanese sentences. The most common ones are に, の, and で.


にusually means “to” and is used with verbs like “いく.” For example, if you wanted to say you were going to Japan, you would say にほんにいきます. The に needs to be in the sentence before いきますbecause it shows you are going TO Japan.


の is used to mean “of” and as a possessive marker. If you want to say something is yours, you can say わたしの and then whatever the item is. Example: わたしのほん = my book.


で is used to show that you are performing an action in a specific location. For example, you can say you study Japanese at the library. としょかんでにほんごをべんきょうします。The で goes after the location in this sentence. You can also just say としょかんでべんきょうしますwhich means “I study at the library” or “I am studying at the library.”



Section 1: Look at the images below and write something that is NOT happening. Use your new knowledge about how to conjugate verbs in the negative present form! Look additional verbs up in the dictionary or online if you have to.


Section 2: Translate the following into English.

  1. わたしはたべません。
  2. にほんごのほんをよみません。
  3. うちにかえりません。
  4. わたしはこれをみません。
  5. わたしはべんきょうしません。

Section 3: Answer the following questions.

  1. Which particle do you use when you are talking about somewhere you will go?
  2. Which particle do you use to mark the subject of the sentence?
  3. Which particle do you use to mark the object of the sentence?
  4. Which particle do you use to show possessives?
  5. Which particle do you use to show you are doing something at a certain location?
  6. Which particle do you use to say “of?”


Answer Key

Section 2:

1. I am not eating/I will not eat.

2. I am not reading a Japanese book.

3. I will not return home/I am not returning home.

4. I will not watch this/I am not watching this.

5. I am not studying/I don’t study.


Section 3:

1. に

2. は

3. を

4. の

5. で

6. の

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